IPL 2011: Delhi all set to battle against Kochi

first_imgWith a thumping win over Kochi Tuskers Kerala under their belt, the Delhi Daredevils have received fresh impetus in the IPL campaign just when things seemed to be going awry. The Daredevils would be keen to keep the winning run going when they face the same opponents, this time at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Monday.Delhi beat Kochi comfortably by 38 runs on Saturday, with skipper Virender Sehwag smashing a 47-ball 80 on a wicket where most of the batsmen struggled on.That the next highest score in the match was 31 shows what a dangerous player Sehwag is. The Daredevils scored 157 and then restricted Kochi to 119 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.Fast bowler Morne Morkel has been by far the most affective among the Delhi bowlers, and he took three for 18 from four overs.All-rounder Irfan Pathan too is fast regaining his form, as his two for 27 against Kochi proved.However, the win didn’t dispel the notion that the Daredevils rely heavily on a few players – especially in batting. Openers Sehwag and David Warner hold the key to their team’s chances as their middle order has been exposed in the fourth edition of the IPL. Apart from Venugopal Rao, no other Daredevils batsman exudes any confidence.Even in bowling, their paceheavy attack is fairly one- dimensional and the lack of any quality spinning options means that Delhi have been forced to opt for green wickets at the Kotla. They were found wanting on a deadslow track in the first few games and then played the last three matches on a greenish surface.advertisementBut after piling on an enormous 231 against Kings XI Punjab, they lost their bearings in the next two games against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders, failing to either defend or chase on a green track.With three wins out of eight games, the Sehwag- led side is in the wrong half of the points table, and they would want to have another win against their name to ease the pressure that has been mounting on them.For Kochi, the situation isn’t any different as they too have three wins from eight games.After three successive wins against Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and the Knight Riders, they lost three on the trot and that, coupled with the initial two losses, has put their chances of a play- off spot in peril.The form of the Tuskers batsmen is also a cause for some worry. Opener Brendon McCullum has not got going in recent matches and even skipper Mahela Jayawardene needs to fire with the bat.Apart from Ravindra Jadeja, there are hardly any players in the line-up who the Daredevils bowlers would worry about.The reins of the Kochi bowling are in the hands of pacers RP Singh, Sreesanth and Vinay Kumar who have done fairly well so far. Jadeja is the main spinner, now that Muttiah Muralitharan is not in their first- choice line- up.A lot will depend on the track for the late- night encounter, as has been seen throughout the tournament here. The hosts failed to chase a low target of 149 against Kolkata here the last time and before that, failed to defend 160 against Bangalore.last_img

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